Marysville Police Chief Buys Car for Family in Need

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MARYSVILLE --

It's that time of year when donation bins collect toys for kids in need, like toys tied to the movie "Cars."

Instead, two homeless Marysville kids and their parents will be getting the real thing -- not from Santa, but from their city's police chief.

"It was kind of spur of the moment, and it was yeah... I'm gonna buy them a car," said Chief Aaron Easton.

"You could have knocked me over with a feather," said homeless dad Timothy Conn when he found out about the gift.

He's been very worried about his girls.

"The kids with the rain and all, I just don't want them getting sick," he said.

With a 2.5 mile walk to school every day, that's been a real possibility since walking is the only way the Conns have been getting around  for the last two weeks.

That's when the transmission on their Saturn played out.

On Facebook, Tim's wife, Jessica, posted about their misfortune and how the dying Saturn coasted to a stop in front of the home of a man who offered to sell his old Nissan at a greatly reduced price.

They still couldn't afford it.

Chief Easton happened to see that post and decided he needed to step in -- with his kids' permission of course.

"I asked them, 'Are you OK with losing this from you guys' Christmas fund for your presents to help this family out?' and I was very proud that each one individually without hesitation said, 'Yeah absolutely, yeah, let's do this.'"

Easton knows a little something about a family struggling through the hardest of times.

His beloved wife Sarah died three and a half months ago.

"I think this story shows they've really inherited their mom's compassion and love for others," he said.

"His mom and dad raised an awesome, awesome man," Conn said.

That awesome man even invited the Conn's 7- and 8-year-olds to walk with his officers in the Marysville Christmas parade -- fulfilling another dream.

For now, the Conns do have a safe place to stay in a heated RV parked in the Yuba River bottoms.

While medical issues prevent Jessica from working, Tim is a certified mechanic and welder who has had trouble finding a new job since being injured at work.

Before the Conns can get behind the wheel of their gifted Nissan, some ignition repairs still need to be complete.

But, after three years of unemployment and homelessness, being so close to a new start is inspiring.

"Aaron has restored my faith in believing in fate -- fate and faith," said Conn.

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